Thursday, January 24, 2013

Incentives not Consequences

For some RADishes, consequences are incredibly ineffective. If they have come from poverty or literally nothing in an orphanage, having things taken away or privileges revoked matters not to them. They are used to nothing. They have survived with a lot less than TV time. We have found ourselves over the years knocking our heads against the wall trying to find something that matters to her and would be effective in helping curb behavior. Maybe something will work for a day or so but it is as if she remembers that it wasn't that big of a deal in the first place. Control is more important.

What works for our attaching kids is to say, every day, everyone has 30 minutes on the iPad. If you make (wrong choices) you will lose time on the iPad. It works beautifully. It is something they love and want. Losing it matters. For RADish, not so much. We thought it would be a great incentive. Instead we had the same if not greater battles with attitude, schoolwork, entitlement, etc. Not only does she not care about iPad ( or playdates or treats or whatever other normal fun thing you can think of), she is destructive. In one week, she broke our dishwasher, sisters' toys,  and tried to break the washing machine. It was a long week.

So we are trying something new. Earning privileges in short doses and short time frames. She bucks me on every single math problem. It was getting to the point where I was doubting her intelligence (how do they get us to doubt that?!!?) DH was even thinking maybe she was dyslexic or something. We decided to offer her a deal. A bribe, if you will. If you do all of these corrections, you get 5 minutes on the iPad.Every new sheet you do in an honoring way, 5 more minutes. Then we sat back and watched.

Mind you over and over and over, she will have things explained to her, can explain them back to me as how she will do the problem and then hand it back to me wrong. For days on end.

But after this little deal. Low and behold, all her corrections done. Perfectly.

5 minutes.

A couple of days now and she will only do 5 minutes a day. Then out of no where, she did all her corrections and 2 new pages on her own. 15 minutes!! Don't know how long it will last, but I'll take it for now. Grade level----here we come. Just kidding. I am not insane.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inner Dialogues

You have to get them talking.  They have to hear their inner dialogue out loud. Countless times I have then heard RADish say, "oh, that's weird." or "that doesn't make any sense" or "I think that but it can't be true."

Two consistent questions in my world right now:

Who are you REALLY mad at? Sin will continue against family members until she can figure out why she is mad and who she is frustrated with. You can't ask why, but you can ask Who? At some point, I hope she will be able to articulate her anger with people in Haiti. She needs to acknowledge it and move on. She isn't ready for that yet though. She will say she knows she is mean to me to punish me for what they did, but she won't actually move the anger towards the sin. Eventually, she will say she is mad at herself or mad at God. I am okay with these answers.  It gets her off of attacking us and helps take responsibility for her choices. I am also okay with her being pointed to wrestle it out with God. He can take it and it forces her to deal with sovereignty of God.

The second:
What is it that you want? For YEARS, she would say "nothing."

Really?? Nothing?

"Well, I want to go to the bathroom."

(lofty goal!) What? Just go to the bathroom.

"Oh. that is weird. I bet kids don't say that."

Now, finally (like in the last couple of weeks) she will say normal kid things like play outside or play on the iPad. That I can work with. . . . . .

What does your RADish cling to in their inner monologue?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Break

It's been quiet around here.  For various reasons. I won't speak for Dawn, but we had one of the worst years RAD wise and I just couldn't stomach giving one more ounce of attention to RAD. RAD was sucking the life out of our family relationships. Her needs consumed all of our finances and then some. We found ourselves stuck talking about her on our date nights. Our children that are attaching were mimicking her behaviors. She had lost or sabotaged every relationship outside our home. There was tension from the moment she woke up until the moment she went to bed. RAD had become an idol. It took and we let it take. It would continue to take until things changed. Taking a break from blogging was a good step for me. We still have to stop conversations, interactions, etc, and remind ourselves just because she is the loudest, does not mean she gets the most attention. We have other kids and Jesus is the center of our home. So it was a good break.

I am not sure I am back, either.